Neil Young: Heart of Gold

Director: Jonathan Demme

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


There is nothing like the period in your life when you first discover songs that move you. Long gone are the days (it seems) of feeling totally, completely, and utterly lost . . .if only for a moment . . .in music, man. Legend Neil Young provides the score, while famed director Jonathan Demme invites you back to that feeling with the intimacy and simplicity of Neil Young: Heart of Gold, his intoxicating record of Young's two-night "Prairie Wind" concert at the famed and acoustically blessed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Filmed during a challenging point in the singer's career after medical care, Neil Young: Heart of Gold exudes a palpable energy of renewal and urgency. A mix of brand-new material with older standouts, the songs transcend the screen, as does Young himself—especially inspired when joined by longtime band mates, friends, and collaborators. His running, onstage dialogue is so natural you feel a part of that time and space with him . . ."and it's fading now," to quote a new lyric.

Demme's confident hand crafts a new documentary freedom where Young's creative musical spirit becomes everything you need to know about the man himself. In the end, four generations of fans can share a unique collaboration by two original artists drawn together periodically over time, sharing mediums and pushing audiences somewhere unexpected again.

— Joseph Beyer

Screening Details


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